103114-div-johnwick

*Spoiler Alert* It's not really a spoiler—I should say: premise alert. Either way, I feel obligated to tell you that the catalyst for most of the action in this movie is the killing of a puppy. I don't know what it is about puppies...We can watch dozens of humans get gunned down, blown up or tortured, but one sweet animal is a deal-breaker. It's definitely worth getting past it, though; because trust me, no one is more upset about it than our hero, John Wick.

Wick (Keanu Reeves) is a retired...oh, let's call him a problem-solver. As they describe him in the film, he's not the Bogeyman—he's the guy you send to kill the Bogeyman. He is newly widowed (widowered?), and all he has to comfort him is his wife's dying gift, an adorable puppy. When a hotheaded mobster expresses an interest in Wick's hot rod, and Wick politely refuses his offer, the trouble starts. The problem is, Wick is a force to be reckoned with. Payback's a...well, you know.

This movie is great. It is what it is: just an old-school shoot-'em-up revenge flick. The action is incredible, and Reeves is phenomenal. He's not your typical action icon, yet he carries the movie effortlessly. I think, too often, action movies try to complicate matters when all they really need is what this film has in spades: a really awful bad guy and a really bad-a$$, really angry good guy. It's a 7.